It’s that time of year again: shows! Xfi is traditionally late September. iEAR is approaching… and we’ll save you the list of store shows. That’s what the show diary‘s for. What we are not going to save you, is a report of the Xfi Premium Audio Show 2019. Both Geoffrey Vanhouwaert and Jaap Veenstra are speaking in this report.
At Helios we could enjoy two active floorstanders and the passive ATC SCM 19V2. We heard the music, not the speakers. Everything was nicely balanced as it should be and as we are used to from this brand. The passive 19V2 was powered by an integrated ATC SIA2 150 which, like the recently tested ATC CDA2 MK2, guarantees a full, generous reproduction that combines well with these linear speakers. The Benchmark Dac 3 provided a clean signal but the Benchmark AHB2 was unfortunately not connected.
PS Audio with YG
At Aspera Audio we were happy to see the affordable Stellar series at work. The Stellar Gain Cell Dac in combination with the Stellar M700 monoblocks powered a pair of YG Acoustics Carmel speakers without any problem. The sound was tight, fast and with a wide soundstage. It shows that sometimes with affordable products you can achieve a very fine result. More of that, please!
At Anti-Mode, the new DSPeaker X4 was shining. A very special all-in-one appliance that performs room corrections in a patented way and has numerous interesting functions. This is a plane for the enthusiast who already has some technical luggage and is not afraid to get started. We received a professional explanation about the plane from designer Toni Liitola who had flown over specially from Finland. In the same room we saw the products of IsoAcoustics that Alpha Audio repeatedly assessed positively.
Bryston and Ayon with Driade
At Mafico they again had two sets which this time put the beautiful Driade speakers in the spotlight. A set with the special products of Ayon Audio and a tight set of Bryston, where the new BDA3.14 dac/streamer/preamp was presented. We are very curious about this device and if the possibility arises we will certainly test it.
Grimm Audio proposed the latest (final?) version of the MU1, a special streaming solution that tackles things a little differently. Together with the equally special LS1 BE speakers an ultra-clean set was playing that enchants and intrigues. The explanation of the MU1 was in understandable language and the goals one wants to achieve with this aircraft are admirable. It must be a ‘no compromise’ device that is used by the whole family. A device that looks good and is easy to operate. The brand new SQM cable, which we have already tested, was also on display. In terms of sound we found Grimm (again) one of the best of the show.